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The world is in turmoil. Times are getting harder for the planet, for minorities, for the ‘otherness’ despite the efforts to make inclusivity, sustainability and empathy some of the ruling values of our society. As Newton’s third law of motion dictates, “To every action, there is equal and opposite reaction”. And while some designers are taking the more political approach to garment-making, Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson has decided to go the opposite way: escape to a dream-like scenario. If you’re ready for a magical ride, jump in: here’s what’s coming for Spring/Summer 2020.

Although Anderson was born in 1984, his parents spent some time during their holidays in Ibiza during the ‘70s, the golden era of the hippy, carefree lifestyle. His fixation with the freedom that is innately linked to the Balearic island has made him launch Paula’s Ibiza, a sub-brand combining Loewe’s craftsmanship and luxury expertise with the emblematic shop that once defined the style of an era. For the upcoming season, Anderson pushes this idea further and presents a collection full of fantasy-like looks that transport us to a faraway land where problems disappear.

This faraway place is dominated by caftans, djellabas, and tunics. Since global craftsmanship is at the core of Loewe (just remember the beautiful project on basketry that he showed in this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan), and since this collection makes us travel to a dreamy, non-existent place, Anderson has combined the house signature ‘oro cashmere’ suede with locally woven textiles. From Bangladesh: hand-embroidered red and white cotton; from Burkina Faso: hand-dyed and woven indigo cloth; and from Japan: ultrafine blue linen denim and punched cotton gauze. With these, he’s created elongated, wide silhouettes that transform the male body and sort of even hides it.

Stripes are also a recurrent motif in the Spring/Summer collection: either vertical, horizontal or diagonal, they’re everywhere – from the above-mentioned tunics and caftans to also shirts, cardigans, trousers, oversized jumpers, and tank tops. And they come in every colour and combination: from the more classic white and blue or white and red (a nod to sailors, the sea, and Ibiza, perhaps) to others like purple and green, and multi-colour combinations including different shades of green, brown, red, pink, blue, grey or yellow. Another clear reference to the hippy movement is the patchwork, which is masterfully worked especially on some handbags. And, of course, the pendants, which some models even wore on their foreheads – a reference to the third eye chakra, maybe?

Overall, Jonathan Anderson’s new collection is an ode to dreaming, fantasizing, and somehow escaping the harsh reality of our present-day. Through dungarees, tunics, gladiator sandals, thatched moccasins, poplin, cotton, and relaxed-fit, deconstructed garments, we’re invited to join Loewe’s creative director on an adventure to Ibiza in its golden era – that when people were more free, more careless, and apparently, happier.

Arnau Salvadó

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